Yesterday I accomplished my goal of reading 50 books in 2012. Several years ago I started keeping a list of books as I read them, mainly just as a way to remember what I had read and be able to assign titles to the random bits of fiction floating around in my head. Two years ago I set a kind of random goal of 30 books and read 37, then having made that, last year I set it at 40 and ended up with 43. So this year I went for 50. The only real effect on my reading was pushing me to move right on to the next book every time I finished one instead of savoring it for a few days, which I am not sure I always like. For 2013 I have decided to drop the number goal and have instead set my sites on getting all the way through Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I got about half way through it in 1997 and have always wanted to try again. After that I think I will try something else new to me and re-read some of my favorites, like the The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke.
Below is my list of books I read in 2012 (in reverse order), an eclectic mix ranging from science fiction to mystery to humor to classics.
-Books I read in 2012-
Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (50! Goal met!) – I enjoy Doctorow’s writing. This one is a good story with a strong message, but at some points the story was a bit too thin and the message was a bit too heavy, coming across as a little preachy. While I agree with it overall, this is a very one sided take on a complicated issue.
The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold – A somewhat odd tale of the personal hazards of unlimited time travel
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloan – A fun modern mystery. Someone called it a cross between Da vinci Code and Jpod, and I like that description
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente – A fun, if frivolous, fantasy adventure
The Hollow Earth: The Narrative of Mason Algiers Reynolds of Virginia by Rudy Rucker
Flush by Carl Hiaasen (45)
Djinn Rummy by Tom Holt
The Man Who Sold The Moon by Robert A. Heinlein
Captiva (Doc Ford) by Randy Wayne White
Dodger by Terry Pratchett
Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold (40)
The Well at the World’s End by William Morris
Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
Cat-A-Lyst by Alan Dean Foster
Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen
Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams by Gareth Roberts (35)
Off the Grid (A Monkeewrench Novel) by P. J. Tracy
Blonde Bombshell by Tom Holt
The Stingray Shuffle by Tim Dorsey
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (30) – A fascinating pretense that failed to resolve into a satisfying storyline, but enjoyable overall.
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi – Hilarious and clever meta meta meta story that not only breaks the fourth wall, but denies its existence all together.
Falling Sideways by Tom Holt – Clever, funny and utterly bizarre as Tom Holt is so skilled at being.
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
Crucible of Gold (Temeraire) by Naomi Novik
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami – An intriguing modern fantasy. I felt it was longer than necessary in places, but overall an enjoyable read that gave me a lot to think about.
Agatha H. and the Airship City (Girl Genius) by Phil Foglio
Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen (20)
Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories
Friday by Robert A. Heinlein
Jingo by Terry Pratchett
The Heart of the Serpent: Soviet Science Fiction by Ivan Yefremov and Strugatsky Arkady
A Princess of Mars by Edgar R. Burroughs
Nothing But Blue Skies by Tom Holt
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (10)
The Electrical Field: A Novel by Kerri Sakamoto
Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen
Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore
The Children of the Sky (Zones of Thought) by Vernor Vinge
Hal Spacejock by Simon Haynes
American Gods: A Novel by Neil Gaiman
Deadly Stillwater by Roger Stelljes
On (GollanczF.) by Adam Roberts
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman